Bill Of Lading

What is Bill of Lading | Know The Types of Bill of Lading

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you are wondering, what is the Bill of Lading meaning and what is the purpose and types of Bill of Lading, then you have come to the right place. Here you get the complete introduction and bill of lading meaning. Today in this blog post, we have discussed the complete guide about the Bill of Lading.

Bill of Lading Meaning

Bill of lading is one type of legal document. Bill of lading issued by a carrier to a shipper defines the product type, number, and destination of products. The bill of lading works for many purposes, but it also works as a shipment receipt when the carrier delivers the goods to a specified location. This document should be approved by an authorized carrier, shipper, and receiver agent, and whatever type of transportation this product must follow the shipped products.

What is the Purpose of the Bill of Lading?

A bill of lading is a legal document that provides the legal information to the carrier and shipper to correctly process a shipment. Bill of Lading used for three main purposes:

  1.   Title document for the goods specified in the bill of lading.
  2.   Works for the receipt of a shipped product.
  3.   For the good’s transportation bill of lading includes and provides the terms and conditions.

To be provided at the time of delivery, the carrier does not require all the originals. However, keep in mind the exporter needs to ensure the control of the entire set until payment is received, a bill of exchange is received, or another form of payment guarantee is provided. Therefore a bill of lading plays a key role while exporting. For the effective transportation process of goods and a receipt issued by a carrier to a shipper under specific conditions, the leading bill works as a contract between a carrier and a shipper.

What is Including in Bill of Lading

  • Name or Address

In this section, both shippers need to mention their full names and addresses. The name or address should be proper and correct because it helps to identify a document.

  • Purchase Orders or Special Reference Number

These bills of freight figures are important to be released for collection or accepted at delivery.

  • Special Instruction

Unnecessary extra request instructions for carriers like a lift gate or delivery notifications are removed from this section.

  • Date

This section includes the pickup date. It will be used as a reference while creating shipping bills to determine the freight.

  • Items Description

In this section, shippers should follow shipping unit numbers, dimensions, weight, and descriptions of the material and its structure.

  • Packaging Type

Consider items such as cartons, crates, pallets, and drums used while shipping.

  • NMFC Freight Class

The cost of the shipment is mostly affected by freight classes. Generally, based on weight, dimensions, density, storage capability, the efficiency of handling, value, and liability, freight shipments are divided into 18 classes.

  • Hazardous Material Designation

Hazardous cargo should be identified, and particular rules and procedures must follow during transportation.

Types of Bill of Lading

  • Clean Bill of Lading

The shipping company or its agents is issued a Clean Bill of Lading without any declaration on the defective constitution of the goods/ packages taken on Board/ stuffed in containers.

  • Received for Shipment Bill of Lading

A Received Bill of Lading is a document that a carrier issued as proof of receipt of goods for shipping. It is not an onboard bill of lading as it is provided before the ship loading.

  • Through Bill of Lading

Through Bills of Lading are more complex than the bill of shipping. You need this document permission to transfer the cargo via multiple centers of transportation or distribution centers. Based on the destination, this bill includes both an inland and ocean bill of lading.

  • Claused Bill of Lading

Whenever the cargo is damaged, or the quantity is missing, a claused Bill of Lading is issued.

  • Container Bill of Lading

Information of goods delivered in a safe container or containers from one port to another is provided in this bill.

  • Master Bill of Lading

A Master Bill of Lading acted as a confirmation of the transfer document. The shipping carrier prepares it for shipping corporations. Master Bill of Lading includes the term needed for transporting freight and the details of the client or shipper, the receiver, and the person in charge of the cargo.

  • House Bill of Lading

Ocean Transport Intermediary freight forwarder or non-vessel operating company prepared the House Bill of Lading. When the cargo is received, this document confirms the receipt of goods shipped and issued to the suppliers. This document is also known as the Forwarders Bill of Lading.

  • Charter Party Bill of Lading

A Charter Party Bill of Lading acts as an agreement between the owner of a ship and a charter. A Charter Party Bill of Lading is an agreement between a charterer and the owner of a ship. The character of vessel documents is issued to the shipper for the items shipped on board a ship.

  • Multimodal Transport Document/ Combined Transport Document

A Multimodal Transport Document is a type of Through Bill of Lading Document, and it’s also known as a Combined Transport Document. It includes two types of transportation: 1. Land or 2.Sea.

  • Straight Bill of Lading

The goods are sent to a particular person, and the bill of lading is not negotiable; the existing equities are all provided by the straight bill of lading. It means that an endorsee acquires no better rights other than those that the endorser holds. Thus, this bill is also called a non-negotiable bill of lading. Stale Bill of Lading A stale bill of lading is presented for negotiation after 21 days from the shipping date or other date/number of days defined in the credit document.

  • Short-term/ Blank Back Bill of Lading

A short term or Blank Back Bill of Lading whenever the specific terms and conditions of the contract of carriage are not specified on the body of the Bill of Lading or the back of the Bill of Lading.

  • Order Bill of Lading

Order Bill of Lading is the bill that includes the terms which make the bill negotiable. It defines that the delivery will be made to the consignee’s further demand using terms like “delivery to a limited”.

  • Bearer Bill of Lading

The Beared Bill of Lading explains that delivery will be provided only for the person who holds the bill.

These are specifically created or ordered bills that do not recognize the consignee in their original form or with a blank endorsement.


We hope now you have got the complete meaning of a bill of lading form and bill of shipping.

GFE is the world’s fastest-growing organization, providing services related to import-export, eCommerce, and logistics. If you have any queries, kindly contact our team and we will get back to you soon!

Vaibhav Sharma

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *